Two Area Convenience Stores Take the Spokane Healthy Corner Store Challenge

SRHD and West Central Healthy Neighbors Committee select Dairy Mart and Bong’s Grocery and Deli to participate


SPOKANE, Wash. – Nov 15, 2010 – Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) and the West Central Healthy Neighbors Committee announced today that two neighborhood corner stores—Dairy Mart and Bong’s Grocery and Deli (Bong’s)—have been selected to participate in Spokane Healthy Corner Stores. This project is paid for in part by a grant from the Washington Department of Health Communities Putting Prevention to Work.  The goal of this project is to increase the availability of healthy, affordable food in low income neighborhoods.

The health district and healthy neighbors committee will work directly with Dairy Mart, 2023 W. Maxwell, and Bong’s, 2040 W. Boone, to increase sales of healthy food items while expanding the stores’ customer bases. In addition to providing technical assistance for wholesale purchasing of healthy foods, the groups will also help stores evaluate expenses, while developing Spokane Healthy Corner Store marketing and business plans.

In order to participate, both stores committed to a minimum set of expectations:

  • Stock healthy foods for at least one year. 
  • Increase affordability of healthy foods by accepting public assistance (EBT) and Women, Infant and Children (WIC) funds. 
  • Market healthy foods with Spokane Healthy Corner Store materials and signage. 
  • Participate in biannual evaluations of store progress. 
  • Obey Spokane Regional Health District public health codes. 
  • Follow laws regarding the sale of tobacco and alcohol to minors. 

In turn, Spokane Healthy Corner Stores receive assistance and resources to meet the expectations listed above, which may include:

  • Assistance in improving store layout for storage and display. 
  • Free advertising and promotional materials (shelf signs, posters, flyers, etc.). 
  • Marketing to current and new customers through leafleting, announcements, visibility at public meetings, etc. 
  • Information and training on how to purchase, price, stock and market healthy foods. 
  • Assistance in filling out WIC application and paperwork. 
  • Consultations from Spokane small-business development resources.

The grant specifies that stores be selected from low income neighborhoods. The health district surveyed corner stores in both Hillyard and West Central neighborhoods and evaluated potential community involvement at neighborhood council meetings. Interested stores turned in applications and the winning stores were selected using a scoring system. 

For more information, please contact Natalie Tauzin at 509 324-1659 or ntauzin@spokanecounty.org. More information can also be found on the SRHD Physical Activity and Nutrition program page at www.srhd.org. The SRHD website also offers comprehensive, updated information about Spokane Regional Health District and its triumphs in making Spokane a safer and healthier community.